Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Where to Begin

I am not exactly sure where to start my email today. What I know is this: I am so grateful for the family connections that we have. I am so blessed to have a close knit family. I am grateful I was raised to understand the importance of families and that Families need to be together forever! I am so blessed to know the Plan of Salvation. I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much. He created a plan just for us to progress so that we could gain bodies to become like him. And through our journey to become like him there are blessings that we will obtain that can be ours through our faithfulness to him. Blessings such as eternal life and eternal families. I know that Grandpa Randall has lived a good life and I am going to miss him but I also know with all of my heart that there is life after death and this is not a final goodbye. With that being said let me tell you about our week.
This week has been the hardest, most stressful week of my mission. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I cannot tell you what has happened to make this week this way. I am not at liberty to give those details at the moment. All I can say is that we are in close communication with President Hall. Don't worry we are safe and sound and our companionship is closer than ever. We have been counselled by Pres. Hall to do all that we can in missionary work but if we need to stay home, to stay home and take care of ourselves. Basically we don't really leave the apartment unless it is for appointments. President Hall told us that our stress levels have been in the white zone. And in the missionary stress book White doesn't exist! So its been a really rough week.
However through all of this there have been some highlights. I failed to mention last week that our ward now has a 4th set of missionaries. They are the Kempf's. The First and only senior couple in our mission! We are so excited to have them and to be working with them. Our Bishop got up and bore his testimony of the miracles that have come to our ward. I broke out in goosebumps while he spoke. Hopefully the picture attached itself correctly. Their main focus is less active work and boy have they jumped on it! We talk to them several times a week and we are seeing miracles already!
One of the sunshine moments of our week was when Sister Bray got to meet the one and only actor from the Best Two Years!!!!! Casey Clyde! He is the missionary that is lazy and wont do anything and who gets the new "greenie." Sister Bray LOVES this movie and when she figured out who he was she freaked out. She even got a picture with him. He lives in the neighboring ward that meets in our same building. It was hilarious and something that brightened up our week. I took the picture and because I didn't want to be the "crazy girl" fan I talked myself out of getting a picture with him. But here is the picture I took for Sister Bray.
On Valentines day the San Fernando Valley Sky was filled with airplanes writing love messages. It was so fun to guess what letters were going to come next. It was the only clear day we had and perfect weather for the "Love in the air." hahaha I am so funny.....
We met a fellow last night who was in a motorized wheelchair. When we greeted him with a how are you sir? He responded well I made it out of Vietnam.... Then he asked what new religion we were pushing or what new God we were teaching about. We assured him it wasn't anything "new." He suddenly looked up and started to do the Holy Cross thing that Catholics do. He stopped and said, Wait are you nuns? We told him we weren't and then he said, "Oh, well great, now you've made me do the holy cross when I didn't have to and now we are all going to burn in hell!" We simply just laughed and watched him scoot away. It still makes us laugh. Oh yeah, he told us that we were crazy for being on the street we were on dressed the way we were. He said, "Seems crazy to me!"
We also had to drop an investigator due to his schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. We seem to be running across alot of people like this who we later have to drop. Unfortuately we do it to keep ourselves safe from harm, and a majority of the time they aren't accountable enough to be baptized.
Speaking of investigators our 2 baptismal dates are moving along quite nicely and they are coming to church every week! It amazing to watch the changes taking place in their lives. When we first met Bill he had a lot of anger in his heart over the situation he is currently in. However over the last month that anger has seemed to melt away and he smiles and laughs more than ever. He is so amazing and I am so glad for the opportunity we have had to teach him.
As much of a hard week it has been there have been good moments and I thank Heavenly Father for sending them. He has been so aware of us this week and sends the blessings that we need as we need them. I am so grateful for the priesthood which allows me to hear from my Heavenly Father in blessings. It brings so much comfort!
Well I think that is it! I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell